Currently Located in The Atacama Desert region of Northern Chile, South America close to the altiplano and Bolivian border, 23° S of the Equator w/ desert climate, altiplano and volcanoes. Temperatures range from around 16° - 25° C during the day with cold nights sometimes dropping below 0 °C. Dry with occasional rain during January - February. 



Far into the desert regions of Northern Chile - region accessible by plane or long bus journey from Santiago, Chile. 



The area is under the protection of several indigenous groups and home to Quechua, Aymara and Atacameños.



Llamas, Vicunas, Flamingos, Andean Fox, several species of cactus, etc.


Our locations are never fixed and we operate in a geographical zone or area at each of our bases connecting with different environments and communities within them. At Desert our base will be located in South America in the Atacama desert regions of Chile close to the Bolivian and Argentinian borders.



LA WAYAKA CURRENT are currently taking applications for artists in residence for 21 or 42 days to join us on the next expeditions to our Desert Location. This will be an opportunity for artists to create projects in a remote desert and volcanic environment while also living and learning from isolated indigenous communities. We are currently based in the Atacama desert and have created a nurturing space and set up for artists to work in groups in this unique location.



Description of residency

We are pleased to launch LA WAYAKA CURRENT, a new exploratory arts project and unique artist in residence program operating in three contrasting and remote geographical locations. We are the first to offer artist residencies working with indigenous tribes in such remote locations. Expeditions to the three locations will happen throughout the year and artists can apply to join.

We currently offer artists a chance to engage with projects in spectacular natural landscapes, difficult to access and remote locations. 

We are collaborating together with indigenous groups for this project.

Artists are responsible for securing their own funding to cover the subsidised costs we ask for at each location.


LA WAYAKA CURRENT / Desert will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for artists to work on projects in the desert regions of Northern Chile under the galaxy in a diverse, dream-like landscape. We currently offer a residency alongside us for artists and projects at Desert, here you will work at the location with us for either 21 or 42 days.

We are supporting contemporary art projects in alternative locations and facing crucial issues of our time. We will create a place in desert for research, discovery, collaboration and experimentation whilst focussing on the crucial and pressing issues of our time. 

We are currently based at a space observatory + collaborating together with Atacameno or Kunza native people of the altiplano Northern Chile and Southern Bolivia.

Duration of residency

21 - 42 days

Dates for 2017

  • October 20 - November 10 (FIRST ARTIST-LED EXPEDITION)
  • November 10 - December 1

Dates for 2018

  • TBA

Disciplines, work equipment and assistance

All disciplines are welcome to participate in the project to create a dynamic, collaborative and open environment. Disciplines include sculpture, installation, site-specific works, drawing, painting, writing, sound/music, visual arts, moving image, research etc.

Work equipment includes basic tools (tools used in the local area). Natural materials are available for artists to use in sustainable ways and learn about local techniques such as found objects, wood, stones, native clays, soils etc.


As an artist at Desert you will be living in an isolated hut at an observatory / astronomy center in desert-like nature overlooking the 'Licancabur' volcano. Here artists will have basic accommodation, traditionally built adobe house from natural clay with toilet, shower, bed, sheets, communal space, kitchen, electricity (limited) - light, power outlets. This is expedition style living meaning you will be sharing between 3-5 per room - private rooms may be available depending on availability and will be with additional fee / you must ask in advance. Clean safe drinking water will be provided. 

* As a special addition to this residency we will spend the first week living on an Atacameno farm in a Desert Oasis. Here artists will have basic accommodation on the farm with toilet, shower, bed, sheets, communal space, electricity (limited) - light, power outlets. This is also expedition style living meaning you will be sharing between 3-5 per room.

Studio/ Workspace

Artists are encouraged to use the nature and environment as their workspace - work outdoors along the desert sands and rocks, oasis gardens or within the neighbouring communities. There will be basic and communal sheltered/outdoor workspace for artists provided with some tables and stools. 

Cost and Support

We subsidise costs through our project to keep the costs as low as possible for artists. Artists are responsible for securing their own funding from their own countries. We are a non-profit and many artists who have come with us have been successful at gaining funding from different cultural and arts institutions in their home countries.

We have built a project that gives artists opportunities to apply for and receive funding support internationally to join us. In the past supporters such as Danish Arts Foundation, Swedish Arts Council, OCA Norway, Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture and Arts Council UK have offered artists funds as a result of our project. Artists have also raised successful crowd funding campaigns to realise their projects with us and others find their own private ways of funding themselves.

We have experience working and living in these difficult to access locations developing relationships, trust and understanding in all areas of the communities and area to make the best out of this project for everyone involved who participates.

The subsidised cost of the program is currently -

  • 21 days - £1,700 GBP
  • 42 days - £3,400 GBP

We do not provide:

  • Funding beyond the subsidised cost
  • Transport other than the local pick up and drop off (from nearest airport/harbour that we tell to artists on day set residency starts and ends)
  • Personal materials further than the opportunity to use and work with local materials and the land in resourceful, respectful and sustainable ways.
  • Translation for projects or contacts for artists to use for their projects. If an artists wants to work with members of the community it is their own responsibility to build relationships and they must consider that people may not want to be photographed or filmed. Artists must not expect and depend on this for their projects success, to remain open minded and have other alternatives if this option proves difficult.
  • Insurance and liability. Artists are responsible for themselves and must take out private travel insurance.

We provide:

  • The set up to live and work in an extreme environment at beautiful and remote geographical locations
  • The opportunity to be part of a dynamic group of other artists
  • Accommodation in remote natural landscapes w/ shared expedition rustic living arrangements. *limited electricity and little to no internet
  • Food Supplies for communal cooking (3 meals a day) in these remote locations we have limited resources so it will be expedition style / basic food.
  • Transport local pick up and drop off (from nearest airport or harbour that we state, on day set residency starts and ends)
  • Workspace - communal and outdoor. Artists should find it an interesting concept to work outdoors within the landscape, challenge their practice and create site specific work using limited tools and resources / what is available.
  • Introduction to artists on arrival.
  • There will be 1-2 La Wayaka Current project overseers at each location to oversee the project, assist with certain logistics to do with the project or give advice.

Expectations towards the artist

Artists who apply will need to demonstrate their ability to be self-directed. Our residencies are centred around the individual artists self-directed practices, giving them space to develop and work at their own pace and direction. We do not provide a set program or itinerary for artists to follow, this is also due to the remote locations - here set schedules are not possible as everything depends on weather and local culture or lifestyles within the community. This is part of the residency and artists must be prepared for this. Artists will have the opportunity to join us in activities we create to share and connect to the local area, culture and communities.

We expect artists come into the project with a basic knowledge and respect for the local area and culture. Basic Spanish language is also useful if you plan to try and work with people in the community but not essential if you will be working more individually or with the nature. We expect artists involved to produce high quality artistic and research work that involve contemporary issues and work with the themes of the residency.

  • Artists must demonstrate the capacity to and be responsible for their own time planning, research, execution and production of works. 
  • Artists must demonstrate their ability to rise to the challenging aspects of the location. Part of the experience is to disconnect and there is limited to no electricity or internet at our locations.
  • We expect artists to fill out a digital document after the completion residency about their experience to potentially be shown on our online platform or in future exhibitions.

Application information

We have an on-going deadline and artists may apply at any time.

The applications will be reviewed by the jurors of the project consisting of the directors of La Wayaka Current and our location partners. You may be asked to answer further questions after submitting an application. Response time is usually between 10 - 30 days. 


Participants will need to demonstrate their ability to go beyond their comfort zone and act independently. They must be open minded, up for challenging themselves in less 'comfortable' conditions to create memorable and life changing experiences. Participants must be able to live and work in a communal environment with others - this is expedition living in vast, natural and remote landscapes. At our desert location we will be working at two different bases and artists must be prepared for this.